Life Without Cable – Start Saving More Money Today

A few months ago, we finally got rid of cable. Since cutting cable out of our lives, we haven’t missed it one bit. We are still watching all of our favorite shows, we can still watch the news, and we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything at all. There has only been one…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

How To Cut Cable - My Tips For Cutting Cable TodayA few months ago, we finally got rid of cable. Since cutting cable out of our lives, we haven’t missed it one bit.

We are still watching all of our favorite shows, we can still watch the news, and we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything at all.

There has only been one time when I wished we still had cable and that was so that I could watch the newest season of Walking Dead. That will eventually come out on Netflix though, so I can wait for that – no problem at all.

According to NPD Group (a market research company), the average monthly cable bill in 2015 is expected to be $123. By the year 2020, the average cable bill is expected to be around $200 a month.

That’s a lot of money.

That’s $1,476 for 2015 alone. By 2020, the average annual cable bill would then be $2,400.

I know of many people who spend much more than this as well, such as someone who recently told me that they spend over $300 a MONTH on their cable bill. While that may seem crazy to you, I have heard of many people who pay this much money and sometimes even more for cable.

By learning how to cut cable, you could save thousands of dollars over your lifetime. That money could be better spent on retirement, traveling, family, and more.

Below are different areas that some of you have wondered about when it comes to cutting cable. Continue reading to learn how to cut cable today.

 

Cutting cable is easy with a digital antenna.

When you think about antennas, you probably think about the classic rabbit ears that are big and ugly. You probably also think about how the picture is never perfect and how channels can get blurry and almost completely fade away.

Well, these days antennas are no longer like that and this makes cutting cable much easier.  They are sleek looking and allow you to watch your favorite TV shows with no problem at all. There is no monthly cost, just a small upfront cost to buy the antenna. You just pay for the antenna once and you can watch local channels as much as you want.

We recently bought an antenna (you can go to this website and find many great antennas – this is an affiliate link, but I didn’t find out I could be an affiliate until after I was already using their antenna. I truly enjoy this product and recommend it!) and it has been working well for us. It’s an indoor one that sits behind our TV, there is no ugliness that goes along with it, and you can’t even see it.

The antenna gives us around 14 channels and they are all of great quality. The antenna was around $60 and it will allow us to save hundreds of dollars a year for years to come, so it was a great deal.

If you get an antenna, I’ve heard of others getting many more channels, sometimes even 50 or 60. If you are interested in learning how to cut cable and looking for alternatives to cable TV, I highly recommend getting an antenna.

 

We spend $8.99 a month on Netflix.

The only thing we spend money on monthly after cutting cable is Netflix. I can watch everything I want to because of Netflix and it’s nice because I don’t have to watch commercials or wait to see what happens after a cliffhanger.

The only bad thing about this is that we are watching a little too much Netflix. We’ve watched whole series of shows already but luckily we are getting a little better with controlling ourselves.

There are also many other options when it comes to still being able to watch your favorite TV shows after cutting cable. You could get Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, pay for the episodes you want to watch individually, and more. There are TONS of options out there.

 

We don’t watch sports so cutting cable was an easy decision.

Many people have asked “Oh, but what are you doing so that you can watch sports?”

Figuring out how to cut cable and whether it would work for us was easy since we don’t watch any sports on TV.

It’s really that simple.

 

How much money are we saving?

We aren’t saving a ton of money, I will be honest and say that. However, it was money we were just wasting though, as it was very rare whenever we did watch a TV show that wasn’t on a local channel or on Netflix. This is the main reason why we decided to get rid of cable, as it was useless and just another bill that we didn’t need in life.

We are saving around $41 each month and around $492 each year, after you subtract Netflix expenses.

We are also saving time. I used to have to talk to our cable company once every six months so that I could negotiate our cable bill down. Our cable company seemed to have a $10 or $20 increase a few times a year, and that is just insane. If we would have never negotiated, I’m sure our monthly cable bill would have been in the $100 or $200 range.

Are you planning on cutting cable? Are you interested in learning how to cut cable? How much is your monthly cable bill?

 


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. I also cut off our cable last year and I’m glad that I did it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, we don’t usually watch TV, we only watch the news every night. I’m also planning to get an antenna, one company offers an antenna that cost $50 to 10-15 channels I think.

  2. Funnily enough we’ve decided to get rid of our cable TV. Here in the UK I pay ยฃ46 per month and to be honest, we don’t even what that much television as we’re too busy working in the evening. The children do watch kids programmes but they have youtube and plenty of dvds so I doubt they would miss it either.

    I actually wrote a monster of a post yesterday (3000+ words) about how I intend to kick debt’s butt. I look at our finances with a fine tooth comb and we’ve worked out that by getting rid of cable tv along with quite a few other things, we’ll be able to save a few hundred pounds per month!!

  3. We cut our cable about a year ago, we don’t miss it either. I love the lower monthly bills. I watch the least amount of TV in our home, but I was the one who opposed cutting cable for years afraid I would miss something. I still only watch a few hours of TV a week and I have time for other hobbies like reading books.

  4. Kirsten

    I am a huge NASCAR fan, but to save money, we cut cable. I use apps to keep up on the live action (when not distracted by a baby). It’s OK. Not ideal. But I totally buy the season of TWD through Amazon Instant Video. I can’t stand to be a season behind.

    When all is said and done from the rentals and purchases we do like this – I am not sure we are saving money!

    1. How much is it for TWD for each season?

      1. Kirsten

        It’s about $40 for the current not-on-Netflix season. That’s my one big purchase but we end up purchasing kids shows and movies to download on iTunes, too, because the Netflix selection gets old.

        1. Good to know. Thanks!

  5. Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents

    We don’t have cable and when we did it was only because the package with cable was cheaper than buying internet solo. Never miss it. Not one bit.

    1. Awesome. Great job!

  6. Brian

    We cut cable when we moved. I got sick and tired of a $180/month bill and Comcast not waiting to treat an existing customer as well as they wanted to treat a new customer. We now pay $35 a month for internet only and another $20 a month for Sling (which is awesome… 20 channels that we watch 18 of including AMC, ESPN, TBS, TNT, Food Network and Disney for the kiddo and we got a “free” amazon fire stick). The beauty of sling, is when the Walking Dead isn’t on, we can simply cancel the service if we want to. We also have Amazon Prime (which is a gift we get every year for Christmas from my father in law). So all told we now pay $55 a month.

    I was a little worried we would miss cable, but I don’t at all. If there is something that is on TV that I have to watch I can always buy a season pass for like $40 (which we did for Scandal because my wife binged that and the current season is half over and the old episodes aren’t on hulu). I can’t see us doing that much more in the future, but you never know.

    In the end, cutting cable has saved us money, but I think it has changed my mindset of choosing what I want to watch instead of just mindlessly flipping the channels

    1. I’ll have to look into Sling. Thanks!

      1. Brian

        Sling isn’t perfect… No DVR and their on-demand is very limited… but then again the service is only like 8 weeks old at this point. It is just a nice alternative to cable in my opinion

  7. SHERI

    My hubby and I have been discussing this as of late and my only concern is that my internet bill and limit will not support it and I winter Dave in the end.

    1. SHERI

      Holy moly sorry posting from my phone and auto correct strikes again. Lol….I meant that I wouldn’t save in the end

      1. Haha Sheri ๐Ÿ™‚ You should look into how it would impact your bill!

        1. SHERI

          I have believe me I’ve been doing research on it and finally have my husband convinced to go ahead and do it!! Then I read a post about how it could impact your internet bill. I know I can save approx $120 a month cutting the cord, just need to make sure that I can get enough internet to handle what we need. The crux is that I am a corp office manager for an internet co and where I live I don’t get our service otherwise not only would that be free as well it would be unlimited!!!!! At the very least we are cutting down our Direct TV to the very very least we can. And I found a way to cut my cell bill by over $100 a month while using my same phone and network!! I’m so excited to save the $$ ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Channing

    I would like to cut my cable, but have been unable to find internet services in my area. It seems in order to have the internet I have to have cable. Any suggestions?

    1. Where do you live? I’ve never had that problem, but if you are experiencing that then maybe you can just call the internet provider directly?

      1. Channing

        I live in Maryland and have been unable to find an internet only provider.

        1. Weird! I have never heard of that. Do you have AT&T or Centurylink there?

  9. Amy @ DebtGal

    We cut our cable in December, and amazingly, we still get about 70 channels on both of our TVs. I, too, was really tired of calling the cable company every 6-12 months to get our ever-increasing bill lowered a few dollars. It’s amazing how they keep raising the price, yet there’s no corresponding increase in service! What a scam. We save $70 a month without cable.

    Had the channels not still come in for us, we would’ve bought a Google Chromecast, or the similar offering from Amazon.

  10. We cut cable after the football season. We’re not missing it at all but the hubby is a little worried about next year’s season. Luckily we can get most of the local games with our digital antenna. I told him he should have the guys over to a couple of those games and see if he can get invites over to their places for the one or two we can’t see. Seems like a win win to us.

    Cutting cable has not only saved us a bunch of money, it has also increased our time spent together. Yes we were together when the TV was on but not really. We certainly weren’t paying attention to each other. We have many more meaningful conversations now! It’s just one more step in editing our lives down to be exactly what we want them to be!

    1. Sounds like cutting cable was a great decision for you. Good job!

    2. SHERI

      My CFO and I were chatting about this very topic and he got SlingTV $20 a month and it has all the ESPN stations, the nice thing about it is that if your hubby is only watching, lets say football season, you can cancel in the off season and save even more.

      1. Sounds like I need to look into Sling!

  11. $300 A MONTH?! That’s seriously nutso!

  12. Betsy

    I’ve never had cable except when it was free in college. I have Netflix and my brother gave me the password for xfinity online. Honestly I don’t really mind it since most of what I like will turn up online somewhere so I’ll get to it eventually haha.

  13. I cut cable as soon as I moved out on my own, I don’t miss it at all. Mind you I work at a TV station during the day. I do have Netflix and I did pick up an OTA HD antenna which gives me a few free channels.

  14. I’ve heard great things about those new versions of the rabbit ear antennas. I share an apartment with two other guys and we have cable, but once I move out next year CABLE IS GONE. I barely watch TV as it is. I’ll purchase one of the those Antennas from Amazon and renew my Netflix subscription. It’ll be an easy cut! Good work guys!

  15. Elroy

    Life without Cable – start saving TIME today.

    For us it’s never been primarily about the cost, it’s been about the time it sucks out of our lives – watching too much. In other news, I spent much of Monday evening packing up my skis and gear. Then Tuesday (yesterday) morning, I was fortunate to stand on top of a peak at 14,200′. Not something I would have done in front of the TV watching rerun episodes of Chopped.

    1. Yes, the time suck is bad!

  16. celeste

    We cut ours over 3 years ago. We house sit and still prefer to log into our Netflix or Hulu account even tho we have access to cable. I noticed we have less of a want list.

  17. We got rid of cable last year and I have not missed it for one minute. I personally love Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime for watching the programs that I like. We are not only saving money, but we also save time because we now watch tv intentionally rather than spending hours flipping through hundreds of channels and not really watching anything.

    1. Good job Shannon!

  18. Brenda

    We cut cable a year ago. At first we just had the Roku device that allows us to access netflix, hulu and many others. Many are free! We only pay for Hulu and Netflix. The only thing I did not like was missing The Walking Dead, and any shows on (? can’t think of the station for some reason), but anyways it has the shows like NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds etc… And my hubby hates missing his Nascar!!
    The Roku was a one time cost of $39 and I pay $7.99 for Hulu and Netflix each month. We recently bought a HD antenna and we had to get a booster for it, so we now get about 25 local channels. I will definitely be checking up on the Sling. My only option for high speed internet is to get it through the cable company and it cost me $60/month. It was $55/month until earlier this year.
    My son and his wife cannot get internet without the cable and phone too. Time Warner will not do internet alone.

    1. Brenda

      Oh yeah I do have a home phone and it is only $32 for the year. It is the Magic Jack and it is connected through my internet service.

    2. Weird! I had no idea that there were so many places where you could only do a package deal.

  19. We’d love to cut our cable but the one thing that has me hesitating is losing the DVR. I never watch shows at the time they air and hate sitting through commercials. I don’t relish the idea of having to be home at a certain time to watch a show when it actually comes on (like in the case of having an antenna). I hope some of these newer options will offer DVRs at some point.

    1. If you switch to Netflix then there are no commercials! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. We have Netflix; I was more concerned about the lack of DVR and having to watch commercials for shows not available via Netflix.

  20. $300 a month. What a joke!!! I rarely watch TV, at all. Thankfully I don’t pay for cable but even if I watched more TV I don’t think I would. It seems to be pouring money down a drain. That’s a nice holiday away each year in cable bills!

  21. I tried to get rid of my cable bill recently, but can’t until my contract is up in June. But I did get my bill negotiated down in the meantime. After my contract is up, I’ll be cancelling my subscription and putting that money toward other things, like debt and savings. It isn’t much now, about $46 month/, but it used to be $85/month and I never have time to watch it anyhow.

  22. We love Hulu. Haven’t looked back.

    Thanks to subsidizing the in-laws in the guest house, we were paying $100 for the second-lowest package. Now we pay $8 for Hulu. (We already had Netflix.) So I now transfer the $92 of savings into an account each month. This way, the money we saved is actually saved.

  23. Sports is the only reason I haven’t cut my cable yet. The bill is usually only $65 per month. With my side hustle income increasing, I might just keep it though.

    1. In some cases it’s worth it. It can be a great way to score frugal entertainment!

  24. I only indulged in Foxtel (Cable) for a about 12 months in total and that was many years ago. I paid extra to get the Sci Fi, History and National Geographic channels, too. What I discovered pretty quickly was that the same programs were shown over and over again. Sure, there were no commercials but seriously, I love my Sci Fi but even I get sick of watching the same series and movies ad infinitum!

    As of about a week ago, Aussies now have access (officially) to Netflix. I am seriously considering signing up. It seems like a small price to pay to watch what you want to watch, when you want to watch it. Plus, it means the TV is only on when you’re watching something specific, not just to see what’s on next. That’s got to be a good thing.

    1. Netflix is great. I highly recommend it!

  25. Jack @ Enwealthen

    It’s almost 2 years now since we cut the cord and switched to Netflix on the Roku. The one nice thing about being an early adopter is that we’re still only paying $7.99 a month for our Netflix. That extra $1 will let us retire about 5 minutes earlier than previously planned ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The other side benefit of cutting the cord was being invited to a cord cutters focus group and earning $150 for giving my opinion on cord cutting.

    But the thing I love the most? No commercials!

    1. Our Netflix would only be $7.99 as well but we added a second user so that two people can watch at once in different places.

      Yes, I love no commercials!

  26. I think more people should dump cable and/or satellite tv. It’s ridicously expensive and hundreds of stations with nothing to watch! I love Netflix.

  27. Netflix family here. Lots of educational shows for my kids, too. And no commercials!

  28. Haha makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Try it one summer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. I just pulled the plug on cable. At $40/ month extra, I couldn’t justify it. I’m not sure if I want to get a digital antenna so I can watch TV old-school style — at a certain time and day, without a pause button, and no fast forward. It’s hard to do that with little kids around, because once occupied, someone always needs something!

    1. Good job Rebecca!

  31. Woohoo–nicely done! We’ve actually never had cable, and we’ve never felt like we needed it either. We have a Roku through which we’re able to access shows and, the best part is that it’s a one time expense (of $39), so there’s no monthly membership fees associated with it. Works for us! You’re so right that you can save a ton by eliminating cable!

  32. When we were focused on paying off our mortgage we cut our cable for two years. We didn’t miss it (although missing some sporting events was a hardship we had to endure) and our habits changed dramatically. Once the mortgage was paid off though we got it back. However, our viewing habits have stayed how they were when we didn’t have it. We don’t watch nearly as much TV as we used to.

  33. Jessica G

    We cut cable just over 3 years ago. We stream Netflix and recently added Sling to our Roku. Sling lets you watch HGTV, Disney, A&E, AMC, ESPN and a more channels. I missed HGTV so much! Cutting cable has saved us so much money, and has changed how we live. We can stay outside all day and night in the summer because we are not “misisng” anything. The shows on netflix will still be there when it rains and we are stuck inside.

  34. I think the time savings alone that comes from NOT watching TV is worth cutting cable. Saving money is just icing on the cake! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Definitely worth it!

  35. I watch sports using a digital antenna, many of the big sporting events are on ABC, NBC, FOX, or CBS. So that’s not an issue. If I really want to see something on ESPN, I’ll go to a bar. Sure, it’s not cheap, but it doesn’t happen too often.

    I think that this is very location dependent though. I know many people who don’t get anything with their digital antennas, so definitely won’t work for everyone.

    1. Yeah, I agree. I was nervous that our small town wouldn’t offer many channels on the digital antenna (our town only has 12,000 people in it), but we still get everything we want thankfully.

  36. Pam

    I get SO UPSET with our cable company and our area is locked in so that we cannot switch without giving up our internet access. We already do Netflix, so the savings, after the initial cost of digital antenna, would be $140/mth = $1680/yr – but then we’d have to pay whatever for internet My problem is convincing my husband because of his love of sports. He’s not one to spend the afternoon or evening at a bar, often anyways, so that option doesn’t appeal to him. I’ll keep trying!

    1. Keep trying Pam! ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Our Xfinity bill is $202/month for cable, phone, internet, and home security. They seem to get ya if you want to cancel one or the other. I’m interested in SlingTV that another commenter talked about. I’ll have to look into that as the hubby and daughter watch sports constantly.

    1. Yes, I plan on looking into Sling as well!

  38. I haven’t had cable for so many years that when I’m in a cable situation, I’m completely overwhelmed by all of the choices.

    1. Yes, I could definitely see that happening!

  39. Yes, it’s great!

  40. Michelle, I haven’t had cable and wouldn’t want to because I am frugal and wouldn’t want another expenses to pay. I just watch my favorite shows online or download it from torrent. ๐Ÿ˜€

  41. I guess I am the exception. We cut the cable a year and a half ago and I am pining for my favorite shows. I loved the Oprah Winfrey channel, Project Runway, Comedy Central, Face Off, Ink Mastered and tons of other shows you can’t get on Netflix. I even thought about re-cabeling lately, but I backed down when they are all 2year commitments and OWN is a high dollar premium channel. Sad face…

    1. Yeah it would be much harder if I watched shows on cable channels. My favorites are all on the free ones luckily! ๐Ÿ™‚